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Vietnam news in brief - March 19
Read the Hanoi Times to find out more about Vietnam and its capital city.

WTO recognizes Vietnam's contribution to the multilateral trading system

 Ambassador Mai Phan DungPermanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations (R) and WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at a meeting in Geneva on March 18. Photo: VNA

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has welcomed Vietnam's commitment to openness, international integration and active participation in and contribution to the organization, as demonstrated at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference (MC13) held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from February 26 to March 2.

Speaking in a meeting to receive the letter of credentials by Ambassador Mai Phan Dung, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, in Geneva on March 18, she suggested Vietnam continue its efforts to implement Package 1 of the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies before June and actively engage in successful negotiations on Package 2 in order to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

EXIM Bank and VDB sign $500 million MOU to boost US-Vietnam trade finance

On March 18, US Export-Import Bank (EXIM) President and CEO Reta Jo Lewis and Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) Chairman Le Van Hoan signed a $500 million Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to facilitate the financing of US exports to Vietnam. The MOU will promote cooperation between EXIM and VDB and support U.S. export financing to advance the transition to a green economy, as well as infrastructure development projects and climate-related projects.

CAAV tightens controls on foreign passengers

The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam (CAAV) asked authorities and document control agencies to strengthen the control of passenger documents in order to minimize cases of inadmissibility in violation of Vietnam's entry and transit requirements.

The move comes after data from the agency showed that in the first two months of 2024, 417 tourists were denied entry at Vietnamese airports due to a lack of visas or fake passports. Global trends show an increase in the use of fake passports and related document issues on international flights since 2022, posing a challenge to the aviation industry, according to the National Aviation Security Risk Assessment Council's Standing Team.

Agricultural exports soar in Jan-Feb

The total export turnover of the agricultural sector in January and February reached US$9.84 billion, up 50.3% from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Of this, exports of major agricultural product groups, including rice, vegetables, fruits and coffee, reached US$5.18 billion, up 55.7%. The forestry and aquatic product groups also recorded positive results, with export values of US$2.9 billion, up 59.7%, and US$1.37 billion, up 28.9%, respectively.

Billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong launches charging development company

Vietnamese billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong announced on March 18 the establishment of the V-Green Global Charging Station Development Company to develop charging infrastructure and provide maximum support to Vingroup's electric vehicle manufacturer VinFast to go global.

The billionaire, who is also chairman of the Vingroup conglomerate, will hold 90% of the shares in the new company. In Vietnam, V-Green, which manages VinFast's existing charging stations, will build 10,000 new stations within two years. V-Green will work with foreign partners to develop local charging stations in their countries.


MBBank announces successful share sale

Military-owned lender MBBank has completed the sale of 73 million shares to its two major shareholders - telecoms group Viettel and the State Capital Investment Corporation (SCIC) - for nearly VND16,000 (US$0.65) each. Following the transactions, the stakes of Viettel and SCIC in MBBank increased to 19.07% and 9.86%, respectively.

MBBank’s capital rose by VND1.16 trillion ($47 million) to VND52.14 trillion ($2.1 billion) after the deal, making it the fifth largest bank by market capitalization.


Vietnam third biggest gainer in the cryptocurrency trade: Chainalysis report

Vietnam was the third biggest gainer from the global cryptocurrency market in 2023, according to a report released last week by New York-based blockchain data platform Chainalysis. With profits of around $1.18 billion, Vietnam follows the US ($9.36 billion) and the UK ($1.39) on the list and is ahead of China ($1.15 billion) and Indonesia ($1.06 billion).

Globally, cryptocurrency traders made a total profit of $37.6 billion in 2023, a sharp decline from a $159.7 billion profit in 2021, when the market was in bullish territory. In 2022, global traders suffered a loss of $127 billion.

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